Silicon Valley Polytechnic Institute


Solar Energy Fundamentals

Among the alternative/renewable energy sources solar energy is the main and most abundant one. Solar technologies use the sun's energy to provide heat, light, hot water, electricity, and even cooling, for homes, businesses, and industry. Silicon Valley is home to many clean tech and solar companies who are looking for qualified people to work in these new green energy fields. This short course will provide an overview of current generation thin film PV technologies: a-Si, CdTe, CIGS and new emerging PV technologies such as organic dye sensitized solar cells, carbon nanotubes and nanowires. The short course will also cover large scale utilities solar power: concentrated solar thermal technologies such as parabolic troughs, dish engines and power tower as well as thermal storage. Besides the technical aspects, the course will cover the solar market, local solar companies, their products, and PV applications such as building integrated PV (BIPV). The main topics to be covered are:

  • Introduction, solar energy concepts, irradiation, DNI (Direct Normal Insolation)
  • PV, cells, modules, arrays, systems, BIPV
  • Thin films: solar cells, 3 main technologies(CdTe, CIGS, A-Si), their efficiencies
  • Dye sensitized solar cells(DSSC) , and next generation technologies: III-V, tandem junction, quantum dots, nanotubes, nanowires, polymer solar cells
  • Concentrated Solar Power: parabolic troughs, dish engines, power tower , CPV
  • Solar market, companies, and products
  • Solar Energy Storage methods
  • Space Solar Power

Seminar Duration

This is a half day seminar.


Seminar Schedule

Please check the CalPT calendar for schedule or contact CalPT at To register please call CalPT or send request to